Parents are justified in having concerns about the safety and privacy of their children who use social media and Smart-Phones. Some companies, websites and apps target teens and children under the age of 13 by collecting photos or geo-location data from them.
It has always been the goal of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to protect children from such targeting. New rules and updates from COPPA make the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act more relevant in the social media and mobile phone age. The new rules place additional burdens on companies that target kids under 13. The rules were enacted despite objections from industry groups.
It is mandatory now that websites and phone apps that collect photos or geo-location data from children must now obtain parental permission, putting that data in the same category as kids' email or home addresses. The COPPA updates also make firms more responsible for data collection by third parties. This was a loophole that had been exploited by marketers in the past.
The changes that parents notice may be subtle at first. Some children’s apps might begin requesting parental permissions via emails or other methods. If that would be the case, it’s important that parents make sure kids don't circumvent those rules by using fake email address to grant themselves permission
To quote, Martha Stewart’s famous line, “It’s a good thing.” At last, children’s online privacy, whether they are using a mobile phone, tablet, gaming device or computer, is protected. The new COPPA rules put parents in charge of what data can be collected from their children.
Picture credit: Vicky S